House Democrats’ infrastructure bill ‘full of wasteful Green New Deal initiatives,’ White House says
The White House says it strongly opposes House Democrats’ $1.5 trillion infrastructure package, which the chamber is considering this week.
“Instead of taking a balanced approach that would benefit more Americans, H.R. 2 is full of wasteful ‘Green New Deal’ initiatives that would impede economic growth and impose unnecessary mandates, hindering innovation and driving up costs for the American people,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy Monday.
The White House also criticized the bill for not addressing permitting, which the administration says is “one of the biggest roadblocks” to infrastructure development, given the long time frames projects often face to complete environmental reviews.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, of Oregon, has said the bill doesn’t include permitting provisions because the Transportation Department still hasn’t fully implemented reforms allowed by previous infrastructure bills.
“The Trump administration would like to eliminate the” National Environmental Policy Act, DeFazio said when Democrats unveiled their bill June 18. “They can’t, and it’s not necessary to facilitate infrastructure.”
The House Democrats’ bill includes a significant focus on climate change, including massive increases in investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and zero-emissions buses, as well as new grant programs incentivizing states to cut their transportation pollution. The legislation would also extend tax credits for wind, solar, and carbon capture and create incentives for energy storage, among other clean energy tax provisions.
The bill has drawn substantial criticism from Republican lawmakers, who say they were shut out of its development.